Colonoscopy is a test to investigate the internal lining of rectum and colon (large intestine). This is also one of the tests used to detect colon cancer. It is an outpatient procedure in which a Colonoscope (flexible tube) is used to find tumors, ulcers, and colon polyps in the large intestine. The colonoscope is a thin tube with a camera. It helps the doctor in real-time view of the intestine and perform the surgery. During colonoscopy, your doctor may also remove abnormal polyp growth and take sample tissues for biopsy.
Before colonoscopy, you have to prepare your body for it one or two days in advance. You would be required to be on clear liquid diet and keep the colon clean. It is advisable to stay at home during colon preparation.
It is about half an hour procedure but gets longer if polyps or other abnormal growth in the colon or rectum needs to be surgically removed.
Colonoscopy is a very safe procedure with least risks as in any other surgery like bleeding, tearing or perforating of colon.
When is colonoscopy required?
All those at high risk of developing colon/colorectal cancer are advised colonoscopy based on symptoms they may be experiencing like abdominal pain, bowel movement changes, or rectal bleeding etc. It is a preferable screening test to detect colorectal cancer.
Colonoscopy is generally not recommended over 75 years of age.
Recovery after colonoscopy
It takes around an hour to recover from the sedative. You’ll need somebody to take you home since it can take up to a day for the full impact of the sedative to wear off. Have someone to take you home and do not drive yourself. After the procedure you may feel abdominal pain, gassiness, and bloating for a couple of hours after the exam. Walking will help to overcome the uneasiness.
If a polyp is removed during your colonoscopy, you would be put on special diet briefly. It is normal to see little blood in your first bowel after colonoscopy.
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Also read: Colon Cancer Treatment in India
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